Even this non-dessert fan has to say that the stuff from La Boulange is pretty damn good! While I was in San Francisco, some of my girlfriends and I got together for brunch, one of them picked up a bunch of pastries for our brunch and I sampled them all just to see how good they really are. I’d have to say my favorite was the almond pastry followed by the hazelnut, although I couldn’t really detect much hazelnut to be honest. Bread pudding wasn’t bad either. The other offerings were some strawberry with custard, sticky bun and an apple puff. None of them were super sweet, the sticky bun being the sweetest of the lot, but considering these are pastries, they’re light-handed on the sugar, and just as well since I’m not particularly fond of gooey sweetness.
La Boulange (various locations) check out their website for details: http://www.baybread.com
I’ve been craving claypot rice forever so when I had a moment’s free time while in SF Chinatown, I went and got myself some! This place is known for its claypot rice and it didn’t take me long to choose the one I wanted — ground pork pattie with salty fish (pictured). It took forever to arrive, but that’s because they cook it fresh when you order it. When it finally arrived, it was a heaping pot of rice topped with my pork pattie and salty fish. I drizzled the soy sauce over the top and watched as it sizzled and let loose a huge waft of steam. When I finally dug in, I was in pure heaven. The crust had developed on the bottom and I savored every single bite of it. Of course it was way too much for me to finish it so I took half of it back and ate the rest of it later on that night! It was a real late night treat! The wonton soup here is also very good, almost as good as that in Hong Kong — but not quite! Fried tofu cubes is another winner!
Utopia Cafe, 139 Waverly Place, San Francisco, CA 94108. Tel: (415) 956-2902
Whenever you’re starving and you see a place which looks nondescript and perhaps not a good idea to stop at, stick with your first instincts! It’s not! This is what happened when I was starving and stopped into this fish and chip place. Well, they have fish and chips AND Chinese food. That alone should have tipped me off. Anyway, the fish sucked. The fried zucchini was okay — everything was super super greasy! The guy’s really nice though, but he does try to upsell, so make sure you aren’t sucked into buying stuff you don’t really want.
Michael’s Kitchen, 15446 Goldenwest St, Westminster, CA 92683. Tel: 714-893-8080